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“Unprecedented crime”: Russian contract killing in the Mediterranean? Secret service information leaks out

2024-02-22T20:32:13.148Z

Highlights: “Unprecedented crime’: Russian contract killing in the Mediterranean? Secret service information leaks out. Russian helicopter pilot Maxim Kuzminov, who defected to the Ukrainian troops with his plane last August, was found dead in an underground car park near Alicante on the Mediterranean. State television in Moscow reported in the fall that the Russian secret service had received the order to kill the “traitor to the fatherland” The Spanish authorities have not yet officially confirmed the identity of the dead man.



As of: February 22, 2024, 9:13 p.m

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A Russian defector is said to have been killed by Russian contract killers in Spain, Spanish media report.

(Collage from archive images) © Collage: IMAGO / Pond5 Images // IMAGO / ABACAPRESS

A Russian helicopter pilot defects to the Ukrainians.

Moscow orders him killed.

Six months later, a body riddled with bullets lies in a Spanish underground car park.

Madrid - Is a Russian hit squad going on a campaign of revenge in the middle of Europe and murdering an opponent?

This is exactly the scenario in question in the case of the Russian pilot who was found dead in Spain - and according to the latest reports, it is becoming increasingly likely.

According to Spanish media, the soldier who defected to Ukraine was shot by Russian contract killers.

“The Spanish intelligence services have no doubt that the long arm of the Kremlin is behind this unprecedented crime in Spain: the murder of Maxim Kuzminov in Alicante,”

El País

newspaper reported on Thursday.

The murderers most likely came from abroad and have already left the country, the newspaper wrote on Thursday, citing Spanish intelligence circles.

Russian contract killing in the Mediterranean?

Secret service information leaks out

According to the secret service, the only question is “whether the operation was carried out by the SVR, the FSB security service or the Russian secret service GRU,” the newspaper reports.

However, obtaining evidence will be “very difficult”.

Diplomatic circles therefore demanded that Spain “react vigorously” if Moscow’s involvement in the case was confirmed.

The man's body with multiple gunshot wounds was found on Tuesday last week in an underground car park of an apartment building in the town of Villajoyosa near Alicante on the Mediterranean.

The burned-out getaway car of the perpetrator or perpetrators was found nearby shortly afterwards.

The victim was the Russian helicopter pilot Maxim Kuzminov, who defected to the Ukrainian troops with his plane last August, the newspaper wrote.

State television in Moscow reported in the fall that the Russian secret service had received the order to kill the “traitor to the fatherland.”

The Spanish authorities have not yet officially confirmed the identity of the dead man.

When asked about the article on Thursday, the Interior Ministry in Madrid simply emphasized that the investigation was ongoing.

In diplomatic circles in Madrid, however, the case is viewed as “extremely serious,” the newspaper wrote.

If Moscow's authorship of the crime is confirmed, Spain will give a “robust answer”.

The defected Russian pilot at a press conference in Kiev in September.

© -/Ukrinform/dpa

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Russian defector murdered in Spain?

The Russian government did not claim responsibility for the attack, but a Russian secret service acknowledged the news of the death with glee.

“This traitor and criminal became a moral corpse at the moment when he was planning his dirty and terrible crime,” said the head of the Russian foreign intelligence service SWR, Sergei Naryshkin, according to state news agency Tass.

Kiev, however, has verified the man's death.

“We can confirm this fact,” Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov told public television on Monday.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security Council, said Kiev had suggested the pilot stay in the country.

“He would definitely have been safe here.” The Russian secret service would not have had as easy a time in Ukraine as it did in Spain.

The spokeswoman for the Spanish government, María Pilar Alegría, said in an initial statement about the murder on Tuesday: “In this case, investigations are ongoing, so we cannot provide any information at this point.” “The (police unit) Guardia Civil must do its job let it be done and wait for the results of the investigation.”

Russian defector received more than 460,000 euros from Kiev

El País

wrote that many Russians and Ukrainians lived in the residential complex in Villajoyosa where the man living under a false Ukrainian identity was shot.

Hiding there as a defector was risky because the Russian secret services often used compatriots as sources of information, the newspaper wrote, citing intelligence circles.

In addition, Moscow's services sometimes worked with local gangs.

Kuzminov was also quite careless.

So he called his former girlfriend in Russia and invited her to visit him in Spain.

The pilot flew from Russia to Ukraine in August last year with a fully equipped Mi-8 army helicopter.

After landing at a Ukrainian military airfield, the other two crew members who were not informed of the operation were shot as they fled, according to Ukrainian sources.

The Russian received the equivalent of over 460,000 euros from Kiev for the crime.

(dpa/afp/rist)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2024-02-22

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